#1
So I have some extra parts lying around and I've decided to assemble a new strat with a customized Warmoth body.

I've decided to go with a semi-hollowbody build in a cherry burst. It will look something like this:



It's going to be all gold hardware, SSS, and vintage tremolo routed. I've got a maple on maple Fender neck I'll be using. After looking at some other builds, I'm thinking of reversing the angle of the neck pickup (I'm not too sure about that, though... it's going to be universally routed anyway so I can change it if needed)...

First of all, I'm concerned about the idea (tonally) of a semi-hollow strat. I know that some people rave over them, but I can't find any recordings. Does anybody have any experience with them? What kind of pickup design would sound good?

Next, what would be a good choice for the woods used in the body? I like the look of the flame maple on top, but I have no idea what will sound good. I'm hoping to stick with lighter woods if possible.

Also, purely out of interest, any opinions about the color of the pick guard? I like the idea of tortoise shell but I'm not sure how it would look.

Thanks.
Last edited by stratmandu at Dec 6, 2009,
#2
there birds eye maple sound amazing, ages great and is light.
Carry on
#3
That's one that i'm thinking of... my thought is to go to a store and try out a bunch of woods.

I want to make sure to get the right tone, since the price is about the same no matter what.
Last edited by stratmandu at Dec 6, 2009,
#4
I'm thinking about an amber pickguard at the moment, but I don't know if it will clash with the body, the gold hardware, and the (presumably white) pickups...

I might buy a couple and experiment.
#5
I'd go with a black pickguard and white pickups.

If someone could find out some soundclips of a semi-hollow strat i'd be very interested as well.
"...I cried. Just for a second. Then I thought, 'I must rock.' "
- James Iha



Rock on y'all!

#6
Yes, semi-hollow strat clips please!

I agree. The black does sound sexy. I've got a few extra white pickguards, so I might buy an amber, a tortoiseshell, and a black and see what looks best...
Last edited by stratmandu at Dec 6, 2009,
#7
So I decided to go ahead and matrix together the color / pickguard combinations... which means I have a somewhat decent sketch of the guitar too. Obviously the color didn't match up quite right, but at least it's a rough idea.

I have to say, I'm really liking the tortoiseshell...

Amber Pickguard:



Black Pickguard:



Pearloid Pickguard:



Tortoiseshell Pickguard:

Last edited by stratmandu at Dec 6, 2009,
#8
So, I've decided that it's most likely going to be the tortoiseshell look...

Any suggestion for the build? Or the electronics? I'm looking to strike a good harmony between a light wood for the body and a good set of pickups...

I want a set that gives me a good clean tone... but I want to be able to get a good overdrive too. Like I said I've thought about reversing the angle of the bridge pickup. I want to go with a noiseless option if possible.

I haven't yet decided what I want to do with the middle position... but I've never liked their tone... any ideas?
#9
If you're going for a light weight body wood, I don't recommend getting a chambered body. Especially with an all-maple neck, you're going to get a lot of neck dive. Also the lighter woods like alder and swamp ash tend to not sound that great as semi-hollow bodies anyway; the better semi-hollow bodies are hard ash (the much heavier stuff), maple, limba/korina or mahogany.
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#10
Really... well I've already got the neck, so I hope to put it to use... as you can see I don't have too much experience with hollowbodies...

I guess I'll look into the heavier woods then. I'm hoping to stick with the flame maple on top, are there any heavy body woods that compliment maple / maple well for a hollowbody?
#11
Mahogany, alder.

Dont use maple for the bottom of the body too. That produces a extremely bright guitar.
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#12
Sorry, I wasn't really that clear... I want to keep the flame maple top, and I've got a maple neck as well...

At the moment I'm thinking of the mahogany for the body... I like the way it looks with a clear coating on the back.
#13
I understood you fine. Mahogany would be a great choice.
Just call me Bobby
Member of the official GB&C "Who to Listen to" list
Quote by mikeyElite
you build guitars worthy of sexual favors

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if this party gets any livelier a funeral is gonna break out.
#14
Oh ok I see.

Yeah, at the moment it looks like mahogany... especially considering the price of some of the more exotic woods.
#15
So if I go with the Flame Maple on Mahogany, I should be able to get a pretty well balanced tone, right? I hope for something with a mildly bright tone and obviously the mahogany should balance that out a little so it's not too bright.

I wish I knew more about woods...
#16
Yea. You'll be fine.
Just call me Bobby
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Quote by mikeyElite
you build guitars worthy of sexual favors

Quote by Invader Jim
if this party gets any livelier a funeral is gonna break out.
#17
So after a very long search, I found a demo of a semi-hollow strat from Warmoth on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVL4Dz4k7c8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnXKreMRSOQ&feature=related

It looks like it's got some bridge mods...

Anyways, I'm still stuck on pickups... my main concern is that I don't want it to be ridiculously bright sounding... I don't want to go with humbuckers though.
#18
So after looking at the above videos, it's definitely a SSS strat with standard looking pickups... I like the sound, but it's just a little bright and there's too much pop when the strings are picked... are there any good single coil pickups that can do the job? Or any good pickup combinations for an SSS?

(And, of course, he's got a Koa body of some sort, rather than maple on mahogany, so it won't sound exactly the same).
#19
My main guitar is a custom built HSH strat made with Cedro, which is more common here is Brazil, but it sounds like mahogany, only a little bit more open. For it I use two Swineshead HB, and the single coil in the middle is a Lace Sensor Holy Grail.

****ing best decision I could make to put the single coil there, it's very important to many songs I write/play. It has a nice 50's/60's strat tone with more bottom, so it sounds really balanced with the other components of the guitar. I'd check it out if I were you, it would most likely sound good on a semi-hollow mahogany strat. Also, it sounds good clean and distorted and is noiseless. See if you can find any strat around that has them on and try them out.

Good luck and show us clips once youre done!
"...I cried. Just for a second. Then I thought, 'I must rock.' "
- James Iha



Rock on y'all!

#20
Quote by stratmandu
I hope for something with a mildly bright tone.
If you did a semi-hollow mahogany body, even with the all-maple neck. it's not going to be anywhere near 'bright'. In fact it'll be about as deep and as dark as you can get.

If you want a moderately bright tone but also a semi hollow body, you should look at wood likes hard ash (not swamp ash) or maple. now yes, maple as a solid body is indeed very, very bright, but with semi-hollow construction it's much more balanced; many classic semi-hollow and full hollowbody guitars, such as the Gibson ES-335, have maple bodies.

It's a pretty simple balancing act really; chambered/semi-hollow construction gives the body a thicker, darker tone; it will make a balanced wood sound dark and a bright wood sound balanced. Of course it's not always as black-and-white as that but that's the general rule of thumb. So if you want semi-hollow construction and a medium-bright tone, hard ash or maple are the ways to go.

Alternatively you could just ditch the semi-hollow idea and go for swamp ash; it's naturally light and slightly on the brighter side of the tone spectrum. Solid alder may also be bright enough for your needs depending on your exact hardware choice. Both solid alder and swamp ash will weigh about the same as a semi-hollow hard ash or mahogany body would and they'd be slightly lighter than a semi-hollow maple body. They're also the cheapest good woods Warmoth provides.
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#21
Quote by MrFlibble
If you did a semi-hollow mahogany body, even with the all-maple neck. it's not going to be anywhere near 'bright'. In fact it'll be about as deep and as dark as you can get.

If you want a moderately bright tone but also a semi hollow body, you should look at wood likes hard ash (not swamp ash) or maple. now yes, maple as a solid body is indeed very, very bright, but with semi-hollow construction it's much more balanced; many classic semi-hollow and full hollowbody guitars, such as the Gibson ES-335, have maple bodies.

It's a pretty simple balancing act really; chambered/semi-hollow construction gives the body a thicker, darker tone; it will make a balanced wood sound dark and a bright wood sound balanced. Of course it's not always as black-and-white as that but that's the general rule of thumb. So if you want semi-hollow construction and a medium-bright tone, hard ash or maple are the ways to go.

Alternatively you could just ditch the semi-hollow idea and go for swamp ash; it's naturally light and slightly on the brighter side of the tone spectrum. Solid alder may also be bright enough for your needs depending on your exact hardware choice. Both solid alder and swamp ash will weigh about the same as a semi-hollow hard ash or mahogany body would and they'd be slightly lighter than a semi-hollow maple body. They're also the cheapest good woods Warmoth provides.


Thanks for the advice... I want to go with the semi-hollowbody for sure (as I've got a regular strat I'm happy with)...

I might go to a store this weekend and try out a bunch of semi-hollow's to see which sounds I like.

And those lace pickups sound sexy...